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Esports Events Company VSPN contemplates US IPO, while Roblox plans March IPO

25 Feb 2021 | by: Kirsteen Mackay

Gamer wearing earphones playing a game on a computer screen

VSPN (Versus Programming Network) is a Chinese Esports company and leading Esports event organizer in Asia. It has its Headquarters in Shanghai and is reportedly contemplating an initial public offering (IPO) in the US, to expand its business offerings worldwide.

VSPN, which is also known as Xi’an Quantum Sports Management Company Ltd in China, provides online electronic sports events, video content, and related turnkey business solutions to its clients. The rising star also produces Esports content for a worldwide fanbase.

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Gaming goliath

Founded in 2016, the company is going from strength to strength. Rumours have it that it’s planning a US IPO on NASDAQ this year. With the Esports gaming industry hotting up, competition is rife and investment in the arena is exploding. Read our in-depth gaming industry report for more information.

It seems VSPN has a good chance at success considering it’s backed by technology conglomerate Tencent Holdings and other institutional heavyweights. In January it raised $60 million (£43m) in a Series B+ funding round from backers including Prospect Avenue Capital and Guotai Junan International Holdings. Other notable investors include Sequoia Capital China, Susquehanna International Group, Kuaishou Technology, Tencent and Tiantu Capital.

Back in October Tencent led a $100 million series B funding raise.

VSPN plans to use this money to expand its innovative technologies in Esports production. It wants to follow Esports trends and branch out globally. In January the company also completed the acquisition of Banana Gaming & Media, making it an independent subsidiary of the VSPN group. This may indicate future acquisitions could be on the cards.

Dino Ying, Founder, and CEO of VSPN said:

“We are very excited that this round of funding was successfully closed at the beginning of 2021. The esports industry is through its nascent phase and is entering a new era. In this coming year, we at VSPN look forward to showcasing diversified esports products and content to more business partners and fans throughout the industry. We are counting the days until the pandemic is over and we hope that we can make fast and steady progress in expanding VSPN internationally, participating in the making of global esports standards, and supporting the development of a sustainable esports ecosystem world-wide.”

$100m+ Esports IPO

One insider believes it could raise several hundred million dollars in an IPO. That seems plausible considering the momentum building in the sector. According to iResearch, the Esports space could grow to 165 billion yuan ($26 billion) in revenue in 2021. However, IPO negotiations and discussions are still at an early stage, and a company representative denied any IPO plans at this stage.

Tencent has employed VSPN to run Esports tournaments for its games such as Honor of Kings and Peacekeeper Elite. It’s produced over 13,000 competitive events for broadcast.

Along with its revenue generating business in China, the company has offices in global locations including South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and the US.

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Roblox IPO next month

And it’s not just VSPN with US IPO news today. Gaming sensation Roblox has announced it plans a March IPO on the NYSE.

The Roblox IPO was due to happen last year. But after the dizzying reception Airbnb (NASDAQ:ABNB) and DoorDash (NYSE: DASH) saw at IPO, Roblox management ran scared that a similar fate would do irreparable damage to the company. (Crazy momentum boosted these stock prices to dizzying heights that made analysts nervous the stocks were in a bubble.)

It’s been postponed twice but now Roblox has opted for a direct listing around March 10. According to a company filing submitted to the SEC on Monday, this will take place on the NYSE under the ticker symbol RBLX.

Whereas VSPN reportedly wants a NASDAQ IPO to help it expand overseas. California-based Roblox hopes its NYSE IPO will help it expand into China. Roblox is a gaming platform with a unique twist. Anyone can develop and publish games on its platform and indeed it’s made many independent developers rich. Roblox is hugely popular with children and has a community-focused feel.

The popularity of the Esports and gaming sector is exploding. With many consumers stuck at home during the pandemic the appeal of gaming took on a life of its own. And we expect this trend will continue. Investment is building momentum in the space and both these IPOs will be worth watching.

READ our FREE in-depth report to discover some hidden gems in the gaming industry!

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